Enter the City

“Philly Phlebotomy” by Elaine Paliatsas-Haughey

In 1989, the old building of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is a faceless, beige, concrete slab, blended in among industrial-flat structures in a North Philly ghetto. Though a wide city street divides the building from its chain-link, fenced-in parking lot, the road seems narrow, probably because of my age; at thirteen, all I know is that I’m traveling down this street to have blood work drawn and that there’s no turning back.

Continue reading “Philly Phlebotomy” by Elaine Paliatsas-Haughey

“Euphoria” by Pietra Dunmore

One afternoon I was passing the time at the Macy’s on thirteenth and Market. I walked in through the large columns and leisurely strolled the white marble floors, passing by the large glass display cases and cosmetics counters when I smelled it. The scent made my cheeks flush with warm blood. I detected a spicy mixture of ginger pepper, black basil, and amber that I knew intimately. My inner thighs tingled. Immediately, I turned around looking for him – my giant, my Bear – but he wasn’t there. I picked up the square glass bottle, holding it to my nose and closing my eyes.

Continue reading “Euphoria” by Pietra Dunmore

Editor’s Post – Voyager in the Eternal

The searching voyager wants perfect pastel etchings, for this city sits adorned with lavishly accented terrains, hanging antique robes decorated deliciously by human hands, created for the creation of this city by an act of God. A chorus of noise resonates from that perfectly pitched instrument, the human voice, and as the quiet is pierced, the surrounding, splendid dark, filled with dim, amber lights creates the semblance of an ascending dawn or a dreary dusk. The myriad cafes are open late and exude the aroma of something softly baking. Nighttime inhabitants of this ancient and almost secretive city walk in the dark like supernaturals in search of feasts while the voyager sinks secretly into the background, and, by doing so, escapes everyday imprisonments. A cyclone of humanity, without name, mind, or material surrounds her while the wind floats softly covering her with color, breath, and fragrance.

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Ayesha F. Hamid is the founder and editor in chief at The City Key.  Ayesha has an MFA in Creative Writing and MA in Publishing from Rosemont College and an MA in Sociology from Brooklyn College. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Big Easy Review Philly Flash Inferno and Rathalla Review. Ayesha is a lover of cities, big and small.

Editor’s Post – “Entering the City”

Coming out of the dark bus depot,
the traveler is greeted by bright lights
like jewels streaming emerald, ruby, sapphire.

Glimmering entities, at times distinct,
at times coalesced encourage high hopes
as city dwellers swarm around them
like satellites to stars.

Thirst arises for knowledge
of this city, its history, its people.

This need to know is matched
only by a thirst for sweet liquid
which, when found, fills incomparably well.

Sublime sugar runs down the middle
of the mouth while sour lemon
seeps at the sides. Sipping the cold can
feels commensurate to absorbing everything
as the city swallows with its noise and sights,
the liquid drowns the senses.
For a few solitary seconds there is
a feeling of complete relief.

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Ayesha F. Hamid is the founder and editor in chief at The City Key.  Ayesha has an MFA in Creative Writing and MA in Publishing from Rosemont College and an MA in Sociology from Brooklyn College. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Big Easy Review Philly Flash Inferno and Rathalla Review. Ayesha is a lover of cities, big and small.

Please note: Poetry is compressed to fit smart phone screens. If you are reading this poem on a phone screen, please turn your screen sideways to make sure that you are seeing correct line breaks for this poem.

“What It’s About” by Spencer Shaak

I look for Charlie every time
on Sundays at the Bayou Bar.
He’s always on the same stool,
slugging down two-dollar Miller Lights.

We watch Eagles football together
with the rest of the Bayou.
We talk about what we like
about Philadelphia – Wissahickon Park,
fallen-fire crusted leaves,
hustle and bustle, food vendors,
barbecue steam,
bicyclists swinging in and out,
like bright crochet hooks
weaving their own section
of Philadelphia’s quilt.

Charlie tells me he’s lived in the city
for all eighty years of his life.
I say – Me? Barely one.
But right now, it’s not about then,
it’s about now – Main Street, Manayunk,
bikes in and then out, hickory smoke blocks away,
Bayou, two-dollar Miller Lights,

Charlie sitting on the stool to my right.
It’s about words never said:
You’re like a grandfather to me.

Capture

Spencer Shaak is an MFA graduate in creative writing from Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.

Please note: Poetry is compressed to fit smart phone screens. If you are reading this poem on a phone screen, please turn your screen sideways to make sure that you are seeing correct line breaks for this poem.

“The Americas” by Chad Happ

 

Chad Happ is an engineering project manager who enjoys traveling and photography.  He feels that a story can be best told with a picture.  Whether its architecture or the natural landscape, Chad loves to share what he sees on his travels with others.

 

“Europe” by Chad Happ

Amsterdam, Netherlands 2
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Barcelona, Spain 2
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Porto, Portugal
Porto, Portugal
Segovia, Spain 2
Segovia, Spain
Segovia, Spain 3
Segovia, Spain
Segovia, Spain
Segovia, Spain
Schweiz, Switzerland
Schweiz, Switzerland
Schweiz, Switzerland 2
Schweiz, Switzerland

Cologne, Germay 2

Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany 6
Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany 5
Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany 4
Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany 3
Cologne, Germany

Chad Happ is an engineering project manager who enjoys traveling and photography.  He feels that a story can be best told with a picture.  Whether its architecture or the natural landscape, Chad loves to share what he sees on his travels with others.